Duke's Zion Williamson has officially been listed as day-to-day with a Grade 1 right knee sprain after the Blue Devils' star freshman ripped through the sole of his shoe and injured his knee just 30 seconds into Duke's loss to North Carolina on Wednesday night.
The 6'7", 285-pound forward entered the Tobacco Road rivalry game as Duke's second-leading scorer, averaging 21.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Zion is widely considered to be one of the top draft-eligible prospects in college basketball.
Williamson's freak shoe incident on Wednesday sparked much debate over whether or not the freshman should continue to play for the rest of the season or if he should sit to prevent another injury before the draft.
Chiming in on that debate were several NBA stars, including LeBron James, Boogie Cousins and Isaiah Thomas.
"College basketball and the NCAA is bulls---," Cousins told reporters Thursday. "My advice to [Williamson] is to do what's best for him and his family. College does nothing for you at this point. You've proven you're a No. 1 pick at this point. You've proven your talent...there's so many risks involved to get to the ultimate goal."
Thomas took to Twitter last night to tell Zion to "sit yo a-- down," adding that "we will be ready for you in the big boy league."
Hawks rookie Trae Young tweeted that "Zion Need To Chill Out The Rest Of Season..."
Six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen offered Williamson similar advice several weeks ago. During an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump," Pippen said that Williamson has already done enough to lock up the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft and should “shut it down,” immediately.
Former Kentucky one-and-done-turned-Knicks forward Kevin Knox told reporters Thursday that he understands why Williamson might contemplate cutting his college experience short.
“I’ve seen a lot of people talking about if [Williamson] should sit the rest of the season and stuff like that. You go to college, you’re out there playing your games. Everyone dreams of playing March Madness and playing in those tournaments, big-time games,” Knox said. “It’s kind of a hard [decision]. He’s a good kid. He’s a great kid, family. My mom knows his parents. It’s going to be hard for him not to just sit out the rest of the season and see his teammates go out there any play without him. It’s going to be a tough decision. It’s hard. Everyone wants to play March Madness and get to the Final Four, experience that whole thing. It’s definitely a tough decision.”
A timeline for Williamson's potential return is not yet known, but his Blue Devils' next clash will come in a rematch against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome on Saturday.